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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Man Pleads Guilty to Violation of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that SEAN GRANGER, 36,   of Rayne, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully tampering with a method of record required to be maintained under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

According to court documents, on June 4, 2012, GRANGER was employed as a coil tubing supervisor to perform coil tubing services on a well at a drilling rig located in the Gulf of Mexico at Ship Shoal 359 in the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Prior to starting the contracted coil tubing services at Ship Shoal 359, GRANGER tested his coil tubing unit’s blowout preventer.  A coil tubing unit should not be placed into service for the contract until all the BOP components pass pressure testing.

The results of BOP tests are recorded on a circular graphic chart known as the BOP pressure test chart.  To record pressures, a test chart is placed into a chart recorder that has a needle with a pen attached to it. As the recorder spins, the needle makes a record on the test chart of how much pressure the BOP components are holding. The BOP test chart is the record that inspectors review to determine if the BOP units are functioning properly.

On June 4, there were irregularities in the BOP testing process.  Rather than take action to properly document the pressures of the BOP components or remedy the irregularities in the testing, GRANGER tampered with the pressure test chart by spinning it on the recorder. When inspectors reviewed the pressure test chart a few days later, they were unable to determine whether the BOP on the coil tubing unit was functioning properly.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance scheduled sentencing for March 18, 2015.  GRANGER’s conviction carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Department of Interior-Office of Inspector General and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for their work on this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Greenfield of the United States Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit prosecuted the case.

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Updated November 26, 2014